Looking at the forecast for today last evening, I saw that there is a chance of snow in Cleveland today.
Hey, whatever it takes to keep the Red Sox “cold”, as long as the flakes — if they come — do not interfere with the playing of the game. I am sure that we can all remember times in the past where play was suspended or even postponed by batters not being able to “see” the ball clearly while being deluged with flurries.
The Indians will shoot for their third straight win, weather permitting, when they take on Boston this evening at 7:05.
After allowing 20 runs in the first eleven innings of the season, the Tribe has settled in. Beginning with the third inning of Saturday’s Chicago game, Cleveland has limited opponents to five runs in the last 25 innings, for a tidy ERA of 1.80. It has been even better than that in the last two full games, as the Indians have given up a mere one run in each of their back-to-back wins.
The formula on the mound in the winning “streak” has been the same: starter goes seven, gives up a run, Tony Sipp cruises through the eighth and Chris Perez works the ninth.
In Sunday’s win Chris Perez was just getting some work during his inning. Last night, he got the save, allowing two base runners and facing the go-ahead run in David Ortiz, then retiring Big Papi to preserve the 3-1 win.
Tonight it is Mitch Talbot’s turn and it is good to say that he has a tough act to follow after the performances of Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin. When the three and four starters can hold an opponent to a run on a reasonably consistent basis, you have to figure you’re going to win a lot of games. If your number five can follow that up — why, you could find yourself as a contender.
This will be the first appearance of the season for Talbot, who went 10-13 last year with a 4.41 ERA in 28 games — all as a starter. Talbot pitched 159 innings last year and surrendered only 13 long balls, so he knows how to keep the ball in the park and that is needed against the Red Sox, whose fans are probably leaving the Territory of the Concerned and entering the Kingdom of Panic, what with Boston off to an 0-4 start.
The Sox will send Daisuke Matsuzaka tonight. The high-kicking right-hander will also be making his first appearance of the season. Matsuzaka was 9-6 last year for Boston with a 4.69 ERA in 153.2 innings and has a career mark of 46-27, a nice winning percentage of .630, with a career ERA of 4.18.
The Indians, who only achieved five hits in their win last night, are hoping for the bats to heat up, and nobody could use that more than Shin-Soo Choo, who has one hit on the season in 16 AB’s for an .063 average. Four games, of course, are not a trend, but even so, it would be good to see the Tribe’s #3 hitter get on a little roll and set up Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner behind him.